Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Poems

William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare: Poems.  1914.

Sonnet XCVI.

“Some say thy fault is youth, some wantonness”

SOME say thy fault is youth, some wantonness 
Some say thy grace is youth and gentle sport; 
Both grace and faults are lov’d of more and less: 
Thou makest faults graces that to thee resort. 
As on the finger of a throned queen         5
The basest jewel will be well esteem’d, 
So are those errors that in thee are seen 
To truths translated and for true things deem’d. 
How many lambs might the stern wolf betray, 
If like a lamb he could his looks translate!  10
How many gazers mightst thou lead away, 
If thou wouldst use the strength of all thy state! 
  But do not so; I love thee in such sort, 
  As, thou being mine, mine is thy good report. 



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